Source: Work on Kariba South Power Station advanced | The Herald December 1, 2016
THE expansion of Kariba South Power Station is now 65 percent complete with the first unit expected to start electricity generation in the next 12 months, a senior official has said.Briefing the Zimbabwe Power Company board on the progress of the project in Kariba on Tuesday, plant general manager Mr Kenneth Maswera said about $230 million has so far been spent on the project.
ZPC is a power generating subsidiary of Zesa Holdings and also runs Hwange Thermal Power Station and three small thermal stations (Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo).
The project, expected to add 300 megawatts onto the national grid upon full completion is being implemented by Sino Hydro at a total cost of about $370 million.
“We are on target; the first machine is expected to start operations on December 24 next year,” said Mr Maswera. The completion of Kariba South will raise the plant’s installed capacity to just above 1 000 megawatts. At peak period, Zimbabwe requires 1 400 MW.
The Kariba Power Station has six units currently producing an average of 591 MW against installed capacity of 730 MW due to water rationing by the Zambezi River Authority.
Unit four was closed for annual maintenance while unit five and six are due for maintenance in the next two weeks.
Unit three is already overdue for annual maintenance.
The board later toured the plant and expressed satisfaction on progress of the project.
While the overall project is 65 percent complete, some of the works are 100 percent complete.
“We are very impressed with the work that has been done and we think we are on target,” ZPC board chairman Dr Herbert Murerwa told journalists after the plant tour.
Earlier, the management highlighted some risks facing the project including costs escalation resulting from penalties for delayed PAC payments and cash challenges should the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority garnish Sino Hydro accounts due to none remittances of the Value Added Tax.
Dr Murerwa, however said the issue of outstanding payments were being addressed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Finance Ministry.
“The financing side is something that is ongoing but the contractor is going ahead with the project,” said Dr Murerwa, dispelling fears that the contractor may stop works due to delayed payments.
Turning the socio-economic benefits accrued from the giant project, ZPC paid about $10,2 million its strong 1 200 workforce.
The management said about $60 million has so far been spent on the local market and ZPC has since established Charara Quarry Site and Gache Gache Sand site where the sand for construction work is being extracted.
This has also resulted in the rehabilitation of Charara and Badze road.